an experimental project
The best thing having an aquarium shop, is the possibility to work with everything you like in aquariophily without spending a lot of money.
From the opening day, one thing was clear to me: it was a job for me, but also a study-field. I always wanted to understand how nature works and in this world, where business seems to justify even dirty jokes, I decided to follow my principles, to respect nature and to follow its rules.
I was wandering if it could be possible to create a self-sufficient aquarium. As you know, in the tank it is possible to reproduce nature, but there is at least one thing human beings have to do: change part of the water, because you can't have anaerobic bacteria in the aquarium without using a special equipment. But, I asked myself, is it really true? How does nature deal with this problem?
I started with the examination of a natural habitat: underwater biological environment was deeply connected with the surface environment, so I started projecting a swamp biotype. On the bottom of the tank, I created few sand-pockets to let the specific anaerobic bacteria that eliminate nitrates grow naturally and I used peat and thin gravel to cover the bottom with, at least 5-6 cm.. I didn't want to use too many mechanical parts, so I added just a compact filter, filled with small porous ceramic cylinders to lodge bacteria. Then I started to built a mangrove wood framework, I add surface plants and some Anubias underwater. Then I lighted the tank with two 20 watt neon, I filled 1/3 of the tank with RO water and I left the aquarium working for two month without touching anything.
Well, after 2 years, you can see the result in the pictures... During that time, I added some choreographic effects, as a small mechanism that creates the mist, an underwater light and some "lianas" made with glued moss... And pay attention: I never had to change water and I don't need to feed fish ! I really reached the self-sufficient aquarium !
Tank : cm. 155 X 85 X 60
Temperature : 26° C.
Lights : 2 HQI suspended lamp 150 Watt
Mechanical parts: Biological filter of 100 lt., 3 pump 1000 lt/h, 6 heater 300 Watt.
Plants: Anubias spec., Microsorium spec., Nymphaea var. Panama Pacific
Animals : 2 Astronotus Ocellatus, 2 Hipostomus plecustomus
Chemistry : KH= 3, pH= 6.8, GH= 6, NO2= 0, NO3= 0-10.0
Water change: every 3 weeks, 1/3 of the total.
Continued in next page